Written by JulieReading time 7 min
Did you know the UK drinks around 98 million cups of coffee per day? That’s a lot of coffee. However, sometimes there’s no time to grind beans and brew fresh coffee. Welcome to the world of instant coffee, where convenience meets the rich aroma of quality coffee.
What is Instant Coffee?
Embracing our world of convenience, instant coffee offers a fast alternative to the hassle of grinding and brewing coffee. With just three simple ingredients — a quality instant coffee, hot water, and your favourite coffee cup — the coffee creation begins. The hot water combines with the soluble coffee to deliver a satisfying cup. No intricate rituals, no waiting game — just instant gratification in a cup.
In a world where time is precious, the simplicity of instant coffee preparation is ideal for occasional coffee drinkers or for busy people seeking a quick caffeine fix.
This article reveals the secrets of instant or freeze-dried coffee, and why the right blend is just as satisfying as freshly ground coffee.
Instant Coffee – A Quick Rundown on the Basics
First, let’s look at the history of instant coffee, how it’s made, and what makes a great tasting coffee. We’ll also give you a quick guide on how to prepare the perfect cup of instant coffee.
A Brief History of Instant Coffee
Many people think that instant coffee is a relatively modern invention that first became widely popular in the 1950s. In fact, instant coffee as we know it was patented way back in 1890 by New Zealander David Strang. Sold under the brand Strang’s Coffee, the product had some success but didn’t take off.
Large-scale production of instant coffee didn’t start until 1909. A Belgian named George Constant Louis Washington developed a process to manufacture instant coffee on an
industrial scale. His brand G. Washington Coffee became a huge hit with the public and competitors such as Nescafé soon followed, offering a more palatable product. This is how the massive instant coffee industry that we know today started.
According to a recent survey, coffee was shown to be slowly supplanting tea as the preferred hot beverage in the UK. 63% of Britons polled said they regularly drank coffee as opposed to 59% who opted for the traditional British cup of tea.
How is Instant Coffee Made?
Taking a coffee bean and then turning it into a water-soluble powder or granule involves following one of two processes.
The first process was used by Nestlé in the 1930s and is called the spray-drying technique, also known as atomisation. Spray drying involves three steps:
A fine mist of coffee is sprayed into specialised drying towers.
The mist droplets react with the incredibly hot and dry air in the towers and transform into powder.
The powder is collected and packaged as instant coffee.
Spray-drying was initially used to make powdered milk before Nestlé hit on the idea that it could also be used to create powdered coffee.
The spray-drying technique has today been superseded by the freeze-drying method. Freeze-drying preserves the volatile coffee molecules much better than spray-drying, so you get an instant coffee with a much fuller, richer taste. Freeze-drying follows these steps:
Raw coffee beans are roasted to enhance their flavour and develop their colour.
The beans are ground into fine granules and brewed to make coffee.
The coffee undergoes a heating treatment that condenses it into an extract.
The coffee extract is dried to remove as much moisture as possible.
The extract is frozen at -40°C.
Once it solidifies, the coffee extract is broken into instant coffee granules.
The granules are quality-checked and packaged into glass jars or sachets. Watch this video to discover how instant coffee is manufactured.
What Should You Consider When Choosing the Best Instant Coffee?
Choosing the perfect instant coffee depends on your caffeine preferences. Do you prefer a gentle light roast, a warm medium roast or the full flavour of a rich, dark roast?
A cup of instant coffee is not just a quick coffee alternative. Whether you need it to get you out of bed, to get you through the day or to offer it to your guests, instant coffee can be just as tasty as ground.
Maybe you even prefer a cappuccino or a cold brew instant coffee – there’s nothing like a refreshing iced coffee on a warm day. Whatever your tipple, selecting the right coffee to suit your tastes ensures the ultimate coffee experience. When selecting the best instant coffee follow our advice:
Enjoy the Flavours:
As you pour the water onto the instant coffee, savour the scent. An appealing instant coffee holds an inviting aroma. It also conjures up the cosy environment of a traditional coffee shop.
Find the perfect temperature:
Boiling water can burn instant coffee and alter the taste. For the best instant coffee, use water at a temperature between 91°C and 96°C.
The taste experience:
The taste of any instant coffee should be smooth, never bitter. It can even offer subtle tones of dark chocolate or nuts. It’s up to you to decide whether you prefer a slightly sweet taste or a deep, flavourful blend.
The best instant coffee has a smooth, creamy texture that blends easily with hot water or milk without leaving any lumps.
Instant coffee is no longer considered to be the poor cousin of ground coffee. For coffee aficionados, there’s a vast world of quality instant coffee to explore. From bold blends to lighter flavours.
How to Prepare Instant Coffee Properly
Want to make the perfect cup of instant coffee? Follow these simple steps and you’ll always have a great cup of coffee!
Make sure you buy a quality instant coffee blend, of course.
Use filtered water if possible to avoid the metallic taste of tap water.
Use hot, but not boiling water. Ideally, the water should be between 91°C and 96°C.
For a single serving, it’s recommended to use about two teaspoons of instant coffee per cup, but this depends on how strong you like your coffee.
To smooth out the taste of your coffee, some people like to add a little cold water before adding the hot, but again, this is a personal preference.
Add sugar and milk to taste or enjoy it black.
Our Selection of the Best Instant Coffees
Allow us to introduce you to some of the best instant coffees — a carefully selected list that promises to elevate your coffee drinking.
Delta Cafés Instant Coffee
This is a blend of Arabica and Robusta beans, capturing the essence of Portugal’s rich coffee culture. Delta Café’s instant coffee imparts a robust flavour. A distinctive instant coffee that doesn´t compromise on quality to create a balanced, full-bodied experience.
Instant coffee – Delta (100g)
– Arabica and Robusta blend
– Quick and easy to prepare
– Glass bottle
L’Or Instant Coffee Classic 100% Arabica
L’Or Instant Coffee Classic is a 100% Arabica blend that embodies a good quality soluble coffee. It delivers a bittersweet mix of flavours to produce an enjoyable cup of coffee at any time of the day. This instant coffee could be mistaken for a freshly brewed cup of roasted coffee.
Instant coffee – Pure Arabica – L’or (150g)
– Pure balanced Arabica
– Instant coffee
Lavazza Instant Cappuccino
With its convenience, Lavazza Instant Cappuccino revolutionises the office coffee break. Encased in single-serve packets, this instant cappuccino delivers a frothy, Italian-inspired experience. Lavazza’s Instant Cappuccino is a daily luxury to add a touch of Italian sophistication to your day.
Instant coffee – Cappuccino – Lavazza (10sachets)
– Box of 10 sticks
– Creamy, gourmet cappuccino
– Quick and easy to prepare
Green Lion Coffee Organic Instant Coffee Le Mambo – 100 sticks
Le Mambo Organic Instant Coffee is a 100% Arabica blend that you could be fooled into believing is a coffee prepared by a professional barista. This organic instant coffee promises not just a cup of coffee, but one of the best instant coffee experiences. Fairtrade and organic, Le Mambo offers an aromatic and smooth cup with an intense body.
Instant coffee – Le mambo – Green Lion Coffee (100 sticks)
– 100 sticks of 2 g soluble coffee
– 100% Arabica
– Organic and fairtrade
Nescafé® Organic Instant Coffee Gold Blend
Forget regular coffee, Nescafé® Organic Instant Coffee Gold Blend invites you to a world of exceptional taste. This blend presents a mild, fruity taste, setting it apart from other coffees. Sourced from high-quality organic coffee beans, each offers a delicate yet rich flavour.
Instant coffee – Organic Gold blend – Nescafé (90g)
– Instant coffee
– 100% Arabica
– Sweet, fruity notes
Just exactly what constitutes the best instant coffee is always going to be up for debate. But we’re sure that coffee lovers of all types will be more than satisfied with any of the choices above. Everyone who loves coffee can find a brew from our list to suit their tastes. For more coffee options, we invite you to discover the entire range of quality coffees available on MaxiCoffee.
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